Last updated: January 5th, 2021.
In 2021, anyone can build and design a website without knowing anything about web development, design, or coding.
Whether you want to create a website for your small business or for yourself, you can easily do that by using the right tools and resources.
There’s no need to hire web developers, freelancers or use expensive website builders and web design tools.
Everything can be done by pretty much free (except domain and web hosting, which we’ll cover later). And afterwards, you’ll have great feeling since you’ve accomplished and learned something new.
But first, gather your resources:
Choose the right tool (three options)
To build a website that can serve visitors and be available online, you’ll have three options:
1. Use WordPress (Free, Open-source)
WordPress is a free free website building platform that powers more than 46% of all the websites worldwide.
WordPress has the biggest community of web developers, because it’s highly flexible and customizable and can be used for building a blog, small business website and even an eCommerce website.
If you plan to grow your website overtime (i.e website traffic and content) and earn money, WordPress is probably the best option.
Best suitable for:
- Small business website
- eCommerce sites
- Personal/Brand websites
- Niche websites
- Non-profit websites
In 90% of the cases, I recommend people to use WordPress over any other tool or software. It’s free, it’s easy and it’s HIGHLY customizable.
Start here: Step 1: Choosing a Domain Name
2. Use a Website Builder (Paid)
Using a website builder to build a website is probably the fastest way.
But if you are a complete beginner and just want to have “something” out there, it might be your best option.
Keep in mind that website builders are not the cheapest and they are not flexible enough to create larger websites.
Best suitable for:
- small 1-5 page websites
- event websites
- portfolio websites
- restaurant websites
- landing pages
Start here: How to Choose a Website Builder
3. Code your website manually (HTML, CSS & PHP)
Building your website from scratch using different web coding languages is likely the most time consuming project.
But if your goal is to become a web developer (and you don’t really need a website in the next 6-months), you can play around with HTML, CSS and PHP.
I don’t recommend this for beginners though, as it could take many months to create something functional and good looking. In fact, even professional web developers don’t build their website from scratch. It’s just too time consuming and not practical.
Best suitable for:
- People who have experience with HTML, CSS and PHP.
- Big, complex websites
- People who want to become a web developer
Start here: Web Development Guides
How to Create a Website Using WordPress
In the following guide, I’ll use WordPress to build a website.
I think it’s still the most safest way to build a website from scratch. If you don’t want to use WordPress to build your website, you can find alternative options here.
Otherwise, let’s pull up your sleeves and get started!
Grab the checklist here. It’ll make your website building process easier and you can will make sure that everything is done properly :).
Step 1. Choose a Domain Name
The very first thing you’ll need is a domain name.
Domain name is your website address. It’s unique to every single website (and business).
In order to build a website, the very first thing you’ll need is a domain name.
The domain name is your website name and address. That address is used by visitors when they try to find your site through their web browsers.
This website’s domain name is websitesetup.org. Yours can be anything.
Don’t worry if your preferred domain name is already taken. There are more than 300 million different domain names registered, but there are a billion other possibilities that are still available.
If you haven’t registered or chosen a domain name for your website, here are some tips to help you out:
- If you’re making a website for a business, your domain name should match your company name. For example: YourCompany.com
- If you’re planning to set up a personal website for yourself then YourName.com can be a great option.
- If you’re planning to set up a new website or blog then try to choose a domain name that is brandable.
P.S. If you don’t have a domain name, don’t buy it yet. I’ll show you how to get one for free.
Step 2. Get a Web Hosting Account
In addition to having a domain name, you’ll also need a web hosting.
Web hosting is a service that allows Internet users to visit your site 24/7. Website hosting is what makes your website accessible.
Usually, you can get them a domain name and web hosting provider from the same place.
I’ll not go deep into web hosting, because we’ve tested and reviewed dozens of hosting providers. However, I’d say that in 99% cases simply choose a hosting that is affordable.
You can always switch your hosting and it’s fairly simple process. Once your website traffic grows to 500,000 visitors or over 1Million, it’s probably time to choose a more powerful hosting plan.
Whichever web hosting company you choose, make sure it includes unlimited bandwidth, one click-install for WordPress, custom email accounts and 24/7 live customer support.
Both of them activate your account instantly, are easy to use and we’ve found them to have good performance and stability.
Bluehost offers a free domain for the first year (.com, .net and .org) as well.
- Step-by-step guide for registering a domain and choosing a web hosting plan through Bluehost.
- Keep in mind that Bluehost doesn’t offer country-specific domain endings, such as co.uk, .ca and .au. If you need one of them, you can buy these separately from Domain.com for example.
- If you already have a domain name that you bought somewhere else, Bluehost allows you to hook it up to your new hosting plan (updating nameservers).
Step 3. Install WordPress
By now you should have a domain and web hosting.
Congratulations. You are really close.
Installing your WordPress website is easy, and your web host mostly does it for you, so you don’t really have to get your hands too dirty.
1A) Install WordPress through Bluehost
- Log in to your Bluehost account
- Click on “My Sites” and then on “Create Site”
- Provide some basic information about your site, and the WordPress installation will start. It will all happen on autopilot.
- When the setup is done, Bluehost will show you the installation and login details. Be sure to save this information somewhere safe.
If you don’t use Bluehost as a web hosting, don’t worry. Many web hosting providers have “WordPress install” located somewhere in the hosting cPanel. If you are dealing with a web host that doesn’t provide “one-click installs“, try setting up WordPress manually.
1B) Install WordPress through Hostinger
2. Test your website by typing your domain address
With WordPress installed, what you should do next is test if everything works.
The easiest way to do that is to type in your domain name into the web browser.
With WordPress correctly installed, the thing you’ll see is a very basic website like this:
If this doesn’t look too attractive, don’t worry, you’ll soon learn how to change the design to something more appealing.
3. Verify SSL/HTTPS settings
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In short, an SSL certificate makes sure that your website is delivered to your visitors securely.
Bluehost automatically adds an SSL when you create a new website or install WordPress. To check your site’s SSL status, do these steps:
- Log in to your Bluehost portal
- Click on “My Sites”
- Find your site and click on “Manage Site”
- Go to the “Security” tab
- Under “Security Certificate,” you will find your “Free SSL Certificate” status
If everything went well, you should see a lock icon next to your domain name in the web browser.
It may take a few hours before the SSL is set up completely, but that shouldn’t stop you from continuing to build your website.